Former San Diego Councilwoman Donna Frye, at a press conference last week, described what sounds like sexual battery by Mayor Bob Filner saying that the Mayor grabbed a woman and, “rammed his tongue down her throat.” It’s pretty sickening that Mayor Filner has just decided to give a keynote address at a benefit for victims of sexual assault.
So the “Filner Dance” and the “Filner Headlock” are becoming common phrases. Whoops.
At a time when local government budgets are being squeezed under the weight of massive, unfunded employee pension liabilities, San Diego taxpayers will be thrilled to know that they may be out millions of dollars as the bad behavior (which is an understatement) of their Mayor shifts to formal complaints, litigation, and resulting court verdicts or settlements. Even if Filner resigned tomorrow, taxpayers would still be on the hook. Nothing says “file a lawsuit” than a Mayor who releases a video statement admitting that he has engaged in inappropriate behavior.
One has to wonder if former San Diego Mayoral candidate and now Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio is hoping that predictions of a quick departure by Bob Filner are correct. As a practical matter, as time goes by, it becomes less and less feasible for DeMaio to terminate his campaign against Rep. Scott Peters and turn his sights on Mayor. Timing issues for DeMaio engender to the benefit of veteran GOP Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who has really been the strongest counter-point to Filner on the City Council.
While there are many reasons to conjecture as to why Filner is digging in and not resigning — probably high on the list being his desire to maintain power and his need for the salary — it occurs to me that at top of the list is that in retaining his office, Filner keeps the only chit he has to play if he is the target of a criminal investigation (no doubt he will be, if he’s not already) and needs to try and make a deal with the District Attorney (or if she punts it, the Attorney General).